Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W28
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The ABCs of Verbal Behavior: The Basics, Their Interactions, Their Implications
Friday, May 23, 2014
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: A. Charles Catania, Ph.D.
A. CHARLES CATANIA (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), ANITA LI (Florida Institute of Technology), ZIWEI XU (The Ohio State University)
Description: We will review the basic verbal classes (e.g., echoic behavior, manding, tacting, intraverbals, autoclitics) as they were introduced by Skinner, especially in his book Verbal Behavior and as they have since evolved. We will see how these classes are related to such basic behavioral phenomena as reinforcement and stimulus control. This background will allow us to examine current research on verbal processes that enter into varied human settings and that are fundamental to varied applications. The topics we will consider include the distinction between physical and verbal units, naming, and other higher order classes; abstraction; the role of verbal behavior in judging one's own behavior; multiple causation in verbal behavior; the shaping of verbal behavior; correspondences between saying and doing; verbal governance; and the implications of these areas for treatment and for educational and other settings.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, the participant will be able to (1) interpret instances of verbal behavior by identifying the different verbal classes that have come together to produce them; (2) recognize higher-order verbal classes and their nesting (as when individual tacts are members of a higher-order class called naming) and identify problems that may arise when different contingencies operate on classes at different hierarchical levels; (3) distinguish accounts of verbal behavior that emphasize function (e.g., the stimulus control of verbal behavior, and the contingencies that shape and maintain it) from more common everyday accounts in terms of form (e.g., topographies, grammatical and linguistic categories); and (4) identify functional verbal processes (including verbal shaping and verbal governance) as they occur in natural settings and as they may be incorporated into behavior analytic applications.
Activities: The workshop will consist of brief lectures outlining the classes and functions of verbal behavior interspersed with presentations of research data, demonstrations, visual aids, a computer simulation of verbal shaping, and discussions and other audience-participation activities.
Audience: This workshop may be useful to BACB certificants and licensed psychologists, as well as to (1) those who have read Skinner's book Verbal Behavior and who would like a contemporary update of the issues treated there, and/or (2) those familiar with the concepts of verbal behavior mainly as used in applied settings who would like a more systematic overview, and/or (3) those with a general background in behavior analysis who would like to extend such basic concepts as reinforcement and stimulus control to important aspects of human behavior, and/or (4) those involved in the teaching of verbal behavior, especially at the undergraduate level. A reading of Skinner's book is recommended to participants but is not required. For those who would also like a review of the basic phenomena upon which the analysis of verbal behavior is built, a workshop on the ABCs of behavior analysis may be of interest, but it is not a prerequisite for this verbal behavior workshop.
Content Area: Theory
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): higher-order classes, tacts/mands/autoclitics, verbal governance, verbal shaping



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